Starting an event planning business can be a very profitable venture. However, there are a few things you need to do in order to get started. In this article, we will outline the process of starting an event planning business and provide some tips to help you succeed.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own event planning business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Event Planning Business
1. Choose Your Type of Event Planning Business
The first step in launching an event planning business is to identify the type of event planning business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Wedding planning
- Corporate event planning
- Social event planning
Learn more about the types of event planning businesses.
2. Name Your Event Planning Business
Give your event planning business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your event planning business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your event planning business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential clients will be comfortable working with you.
Read our article about choosing the right business name.
3. Determine Your Event Planning Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for an event planning business including:
- Full-service event planning: You offer complete planning services from start to finish for your clients.
- Partial service event planning: Your clients handle some of the aspects of their event themselves, and you take care of the rest.
- Do-it-yourself (DIY) event planning: You provide advice and resources to help your clients plan their own events.
You will need to decide which type of business model is right for you and your event planning business. Consider the type of events you want to plan, the amount of time and effort you are willing to put into each event, and the level of customer service you want to provide.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your event planning business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your event planning business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common event planning business structures.
5. Write an Event Planning Business Plan
All event planning business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your event planning business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- What type of events do you plan?
- Do you have any prior experience planning events?
- How long have you been planning events?
- What is your event planning process?
- Will you help me find a venue for my event?
- Can you recommend any vendors?
- How much do you charge for your services?
- What is included in your fee?
- Do you have any discounts or promotions?
After answering these questions, you will have a better understanding of the type of business plan you need to write and what information to include in it.
Read our article about how to write an event planning business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your event planning business.
For example, if you plan on serving alcohol at any of the events you coordinate, you will need to obtain a liquor license. If your business is based in a city or county, you may also need to obtain a business license.
You must also register your event planning business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper event planning business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your event planning business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your event planning business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your event planning business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting an event planning business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your event planning business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your event planning business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in an event management software system to help you streamline the process of planning and managing events.
When selecting technology and software for your business, be sure to read reviews and compare pricing options. Also, get recommendations from other event planners on which programs have worked well for them.
9. Market Your Event Planning Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the event planning industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Event planning businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Host a free or low-cost workshop on event planning.
- Distribute flyers in key locations (e.g. business districts, community centers, etc.).
- Create a promotional video and post it on YouTube.
- Develop partnerships with other businesses (caterers, florists, etc.) in your industry.
- Speak at local business groups or clubs about event planning services.
- Write articles about event planning for local publications.
- Attend local trade shows and fairs related to your industry.
Read our article about how to market your event planning business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your event planning business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your event planning business to learn more.
Starting an Event Planning Business FAQs
Why Start an Event Planning Business?
The event planning industry is growing, as more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of hosting events. This is especially true for small businesses, which often use events to attract new customers and build relationships with existing ones.
Event planners play a vital role in helping businesses successfully execute their events. As an event planner, you have the opportunity to be your own boss, set your own hours, and work with a variety of clients.
What is Needed to Start a Successful Event Planning Business?
To start a successful event planning business, you need a strong understanding of the event planning industry, excellent organizational skills, and a knack for marketing. You also need to be proficient in the use of technology and software so you can efficiently manage your business.
How Can I Start an Event Planning Business From Home?
You can start an event planning business from home by establishing a workspace and home office. Then, create a website and start promoting your business through social media and other channels. Finally, gather the materials you need to execute your promotional strategy.
How Can I Start an Event Planning Business Online?
You can start an event planning business online by creating a website and promoting your business through social media and other channels. Ensure that clients can book your services online. You should also consider developing partnerships with other businesses in your industry.
What are Some Tips for Starting an Event Planning Business?
Here are some tips for starting an event planning business:
- Research the market. Make sure you understand the event planning industry and what it takes to be successful in it.
- Create a business plan. This will help you map out your goals, strategies, and financial needs.
- Develop a strong marketing strategy. You need to promote your business in order to attract clients.
- Get organized. Excellent organizational skills are essential for event planners.
- Build a network of contacts. Develop relationships with other businesses in your industry.
- Be proficient in technology and software. This will help manage your business more efficiently.
- Offer value-added services. Find ways to differentiate your business from your competitors.
- Train and develop your staff. Find the right people to help grow your business.
- Focus on customer service. Provide exceptional service to your clients in order to build loyalty and repeat business.
- Get new clients and grow your business. Use effective marketing and business growth strategies to attract new clients and grow your business.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting an Event Planning Business?
A simple checklist to use when starting an event planning business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Event Planning Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Event Planning Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Event Planning Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write an Event Planning Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Event Planning Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting an event planning business requires effort, but following this simple checklist will help you get started on the right foot. By choosing the right type of event planning firm, naming your business wisely, and applying for the necessary permits and licenses, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful company. Remember to focus on customer service and marketing to attract new clients, and you’ll be well on your way to growing your business.